Recorded as Jan, Jann, Jen, Jon, John (British Isles), Evan (Wales), Ian (Scotland), Shane (Ireland), Ivan (Russia) and Jean (France), Giovanni, Zanni and Zoane (Italy) Janus (Polish), Jan, (Czech) and diminutives such as Jenkin, Jeannet, Jennick, Nannini, Zanicchi, and Gianuzzi, with patronymics Johnson, Joynson, Jenson, Jocie, Ivanshintsev, and Ivashechkin, these are all forms of John or Johan. Altogether there are over fourteen hundred and all however spelt, derive from the biblical Hebrew "Yochanan", translating as "He who Jehovah has favoured (with a son)".The name became particularly popular after the 12th century when returning Crusaders from the Holy Land often called their children by biblical names in commemoration of the fathers pilgrimage, these then in turn developed into surnames. The earliest recordings of surnames are to be found in Britain and amongst these are Thomas John in the Hundred Rolls of landowners of the county of Buckinghamshire for the year 1279, and Arnold Johan in the register known as the Letter Books for the city of London in 1312. In Germany Walterus filius Johannis appears in the charters of the town of Vaihingen in 1324, whilst the charters of the city of Friedberg in 1344 record Baumeister Johannssen. The first recorded spelling of the surname in any spelling is believed to be that of Pertus Johannis. This was dated 1230 a.d. in the charters known as the Close Rolls of the county of Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England,1216 to 1272.
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